Newgarden set for first Baltimore Indy start this weekend

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A year ago, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden was forced to miss the Grand Prix of Baltimore due to a broken left index finger.

Now back and with a chance to race in the No. 67 SFHR Honda this weekend, he wants to break his recent string of poor luck. Gearbox (Sonoma), mechanical (Mid-Ohio) and a sensor malfunction (Toronto Race 1) have struck the car just in the last three race weekends.

“It’s very important to do well and finish these last four races strong,” Newgarden said. “It’s been difficult these last couple of weekends, but we will be on top of our stuff and if everything goes according to plan we should have a fast race car and be ready to get solid points for the rest of the year.”

Newgarden described some of the challenges he’ll face on the street circuit, where he finished second in Indy Lights in 2011 in his only prior Baltimore start.

“Baltimore is generally the bumpiest street circuit we go to all year, which brings its own challenges with trying to make the car work around there,” he said. “The curves and the front straightaways are just very bumpy and you can get airborne with the car.

His SFHR teammate from Sonoma, Lucas Luhr (pictured leading), is back in his normal environment of his Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c in the American Le Mans Series. Luhr’s IndyCar debut was halted with a late-race engine fire.

Rossi discharged from hospital after motorcross accident

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MotoGP star Valentino Rossi has been discharged from hospital after suffering injuries in a motorcross accident earlier this week.

Nine-time motorcycling world champion Rossi was diagnosed with “mild thoracic and abdominal trauma” after the accident on Thursday morning, resulting in his admission to the Ospedale Infermi in Rimini, Italy.

The hospital noted in a statement that there were “no fractures detected in any part of the body and no serious traumatic pathologies”, with Rossi recovering overnight with pain relief.

On Friday, a further statement was issued confirming that Rossi had been discharged from hospital.

“Valentino Rossi has returned home from the Ospedale Infermi in Rimini, having successfully completed routine diagnostic tests that were scheduled earlier on Friday,” the statement reads.

“With the attending doctors confirming the findings shared in this morning‘s medical bulletin, the nine-time World Champion left the hospital at 5.30pm, accompanied by his staff.

“He will now continue the recovery process at home.”

The Yamaha rider’s next racing engagement comes next weekend with the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.